What are you gonna do?
Old buildings make way for new ones everyday.
Or in this case, a building which is still highly functional and aesthetically beautiful is utterly gutted to make way for luxury condos.
Hey, it’s a free country–a public building falling into private ownership can basically be turned into a husk of its former self.
Who needs quarter-sawn panels, expert plaster work, or marble floors and casings?
Codes, architects, the tastes and whims of a new owner–not to mention the perceived desires of well-heeled buyers–may all lead to an erosion of history.
And of place-
To be fair, it had been a while since a testator’s assets had been disposed the old Registy of Probate building (c. 1904) in downtown Plymouth.
A few of the sashes were sketchy, though contemporary artists were happy to brighten up the place-
The new owners, generously, offered to donate some of the building’s historic features back to the town for preservation and possible re-use.
So, as is our want, we went to work salvaging a few things to save for America’s Hometown.
We started with the stained glass windows which jewled the front-
Carefully and one by one…
They came free.
The detail was exceptional:
Then we tackled some doors and a few jambs and lugged them down the stairs.
Along the way, we took in features which we hoped would be saved by the new owners.
And Michael, who has an incredible eye for such things, found a hint of the main hall’s former glory beneath some more recent paint. 30 years ago someone probably thought the room was too dark so they just painted over it, he said, carefully scraping off a section of paint to reveal the old color and fleur de lis of the original wall.
Perception is a funny thing. What we think would draw potential clients to this once-charming relic of Plymouth’s history may have nothing to do with someone else’s reality.
It comes down to the little things people do which can add to–or subtract from–a community.
So, one ogee moulding at a time, some people go to battle against the forces of newer is always better–
Because that aint always the case.